Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
D.C. United has shown Eddie Johnson the money.
Johnson has signed a deal with D.C. United as a Designated Player, the club announced on Thursday. The move was expected almost immediately after Johnson joined D.C. via a trade from the Seattle Sounders, but it had not been worked out until now.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but an SI.com report states that Johnson signed a two-year deal that will see him earn an average of $600,000 a season.
“Eddie is an elite striker who is in the prime of his career, and we are thrilled that he has made a commitment to D.C. United,” said D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper. “We look forward to Eddie’s contributions on and off the field.”
Johnson has been one of the best forwards in MLS since returning in 2012. The 29-year-old U.S. Men’s National Team forward netted a combined 23 times and delivered five assists for the Sounders in regular season play the past two seasons, but was moved this offseason after becoming unhappy about his contract situation with the club.
During a game last year, Johnson celebrated a goal by making a pay-up gesture and uttering the words “Pay me.”
“I want to thank D.C. United for showing faith in me,” said Johnson. “I’m extremely proud to wear the Black-and-Red, and I am excited to get the season started with my new teammates.”
Here are more notes from around MLS:
RED BULLS ANNOUNCE MULTIYEAR TV EXTENSION WITH MSG NETWORKS
MSG Networks will continue to be the TV home of the New York Red Bulls.
The club announced Thursday that it has agreed to a new multiyear extension that will keep MSG Networks as the regional television network that carries Red Bulls games. Additionally, MSG Networks will produce 22 of the club’s 34 regular season games this year, including Saturday’s season opener in Vancouver.
MSG Networks have held the telecast rights for the team since 1996.
EARTHQUAKES SCORE LATE TO KNOCK OFF SACRAMENTO
The San Jose Earthquakes rounded out their 2014 preseason on Wednesday night by defeating USL Pro side Sacramento Republic, 2-0. Both goals came in the waning moments, with JJ Koval netting the winner in the 86th minute and Billy Schuler adding an insurance tally in stoppage time.
The Earthquakes will now set their sights on next Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals first leg against Deportivo Toluco before focusing on their MLS season opener versus Real Salt Lake on March 15.
FIRE WAIVE ATOUBA, STRIKE DEAL WITH WHITECAPS FOR WATSON
The season might be around the corner, but Chicago Fire’s front office is seemingly still as busy as it was in the offseason.
The Fire announced on Thursday that they have waived midfielder Yazid Atouba. The Cameroon youth international made just three appearances for the club last season.
Chicago also made a move on Wednesday, trading a 2014 international roster spot to the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for midfielder Matt Watson.
SOUNDERS ADD MIDFIELDER AZIRA
The Seattle Sounders just added a little more depth to their midfield.
The Sounders signed versatile midfielder Michael Azira on Thursday. Azira spent the past two seasons with the Charleston Battery of USL Pro, and scored seven goals in 46 appearances. He was also previously called up by Uganda for a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
“Michael is a versatile midfielder who can play outside back as well,” said Sounders sporting director Chris Henderson. “He’s a consistent passer and positions himself well defensively. He is very calm on the ball and adds depth to both the midfield and the back four.”
What do you think of D.C. United signing Johnson to a DP deal? How many goals do you see him scoring in 2014? Like what you’ve seen from the Earthquakes in advance of their CCL and MLS matches?
Share your thoughts below.